T­he­re’s a Rap­tor on the ho­ri­zon

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Voorblad -

The first Ran­ger Rap­tor from Ford was re­cent­ly in­tro­du­ced in T­hai­land with a flou­rish. Ford in­di­ca­ted at the end of 2017 that the vehi­cle will al­so be built lo­cal­ly, thanks to a hu­ge in­ves­t­ment of R3-bil­li­on at the com­pa­ny’s plant ne­ar P­re­to­ria. The ex­pected rol­lout of the vehi­cle in South A­fri­ca is plan­ned for 2019 w­hen lo­cal pro­ducti­on starts.

The first Ran­ger Rap­tor, Ford’s new of­fro­ad, per­for­man­ce pick-up truck, was re­cent­ly in­tro­du­ced with a flou­rish at a re­veal e­vent in T­hai­land. The ul­ti­ma­te Ran­ger vehi­cle is built and tes­ted to set a new ben­ch­mark a­cross the A­sia Pa­ci­fic re­gi­on. De­sig­ned by the Ford per­for­man­ce te­am for the true ent­hu­si­ast of­fro­a­der, Ford Ran­ger Rap­tor streng­thens Ford’s com­mit­ment to de­li­ver “Built Ford Tough” pickup trucks to cu­s­to­mers.

South A­fri­cans need not ha­ve any FOMO (fe­ar of mis­sing out), as Ford in­di­ca­ted at the end of 2017 that the vehi­cle will al­so be built lo­cal­ly af­ter a sig­ni­fi­cant in­ves­t­ment of R3-bil­li­on at the com­pa­ny’s plant in Sil­ver­ton ne­ar P­re­to­ria.

The ex­pected in­tro­ducti­on for the vehi­cle in South A­fri­ca is plan­ned for 2019 w­hen lo­cal pro­ducti­on is due to start.

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL

The Ran­ger Rap­tor fe­a­tu­res dis­tincti­ve de­sign cu­es in­si­de and out that are functi­o­nal dri­ven. At the front, a stun­ning new gril­le re­minds one of the first high per­for­man­ce off-ro­ad truck, the F-150 Rap­tor. A fra­me-moun­ted front bum­per sy­stem is de­sig­ned to of­fer de­sert du­ra­bi­li­ty per­for­man­ce and the front bum­per in­clu­des new LED fog lamps with functi­o­nal air-cur­tain ducts, which help to re­du­ce the air re­sis­tan­ce of the bo­dy.

Ma­de of com­po­si­te ma­te­ri­als, the front fen­ders not on­ly look tough, but will re­sist the dents and dings of­ten as­so­ci­a­ted with off-ro­ad usa­ge. The fla­red shape of the fen­ders is re­qui­red for the long tra­vel sus­pen­si­on and o­ver­si­zed ty­res.

The ex­te­ri­or co­lour on of­fer will in­clu­de Lig­ht­ning Blue, Ra­ce Red, S­hadow Black, Fro­zen Whi­te, as well as a spe­ci­al Con­quer G­rey. Con­tras­ting Dyno G­rey accents will help to accen­tu­a­te the vehi­cle’s look e­ven furt­her.

The vehi­cle stan­ce is im­pres­si­ve at 1 873mm high, 2 180mm wi­de and 5 398mm long, al­so with wi­der front and re­ar tracks at 1 710mm. Ground cle­a­ran­ce is in­cre­a­sed to 283mm, whi­le the ap­pro­ach an­gle of 32,5°, ramp-o­ver an­gle of 24° and de­par­tu­re an­gle of 24° are su­pe­ri­or to com­pe­ti­tors.

The s­tep bo­ards we­re de­sig­ned to pre­vent rock spray from hit­ting the re­ar of the truck and the ho­les ha­ve been de­sig­ned to drain sand, mud and snow. The tough high-strength a­lu­mi­ni­um al­loy die-cast main s­tep bo­ard is de­sig­ned for du­ra­bi­li­ty, un­der­going tes­ting which in­clu­des a lo­ad of 100kg being ap­p­lied 84 000 ti­mes to si­mu­la­te mo­re than 10 y­e­ars of use.

At the re­ar, a mo­di­fied bum­per has an in­te­gra­ted tow bar and two re­co­ve­ry hooks ra­ted at 3,8 ton­nes. Pro­vi­ding lots of s­pa­ce, the 1 560mm x 1 743mm tray has been de­sig­ned with the wee­kend ex­plo­rer in mind, whi­le the 2 500kg to­wing ca­pa­ci­ty will ma­ke e­a­sy me­at of dirt bi­kes or jet-s­kis, as well as tra­di­ti­o­nal work du­ring the week.

CREATURE COMFORTS

In­si­de, Ran­ger Rap­tor of­fers a tailo­red in­te­ri­or de­sign with a high le­vel of crafts­mans­hip, har­mo­ni­ous co­lours and du­ra­ble ma­te­ri­als suit­a­ble for both off-ro­ad dri­ving and e­ver­y­day use. The se­ats are de­sig­ned for off-ro­ad and high speed sup­port. The use of techni­cal su­e­de on the se­ats shows the practi­ca­li­ty of the ma­te­ri­al choi­ce.

Mul­ti­ple long-dis­tan­ce dri­ves gau­ged how the se­ats per­for­med, both on highways and off-ro­ad tracks. The du­al hard­ness cus­hi­on struc­tu­re pro­vi­des good la­te­ral sup­port.

Ran­ger Rap­tor dri­vers will no­ti­ce me­ti­cu­lous de­tail in the cock­pit, in­clu­ding blue stit­ching and le­at­her accents with a host of dri­ver as­sist fe­a­tu­res.

The s­teer­ing w­heel has new lig­ht­weig­ht mag­ne­si­um pad­d­le shif­ters for crisp ge­ar chan­ging, e­a­si­ly acces­si­ble ne­ar the per­fo­ra­ted le­at­her hand grip secti­ons on the rim.

ROUGHING IT

Two re­co­ve­ry hooks ra­ted at 4,5 ton­nes can be found at the front, plus rein­for­ced spa­re ty­re moun­ting cross-mem­bers for the lar­ger 17” rims.

The bra­king sy­stem of­fers ex­tre­me stop­ping po­wer through new and be­spo­ke com­po­nents. At the front, t­win-pis­ton cal­li­pers ha­ve been in­cre­a­sed by 9,5mm in di­a­me­ter, whi­le the ven­ti­la­ted ro­tors are 332 x 32mm. At the re­ar are disc bra­kes with a bra­ke ac­tu­a­ti­on mas­ter cy­lin­der and boos­ter to in­cre­a­se bra­king per­for­man­ce. The 332mm x 24mm re­ar ro­tor is ven­ti­la­ted and cou­pled with a new 54mm cal­li­per.

Ran­ger Rap­tor al­so co­mes with u­ni­que un­der­bo­dy pro­tecti­on to de­flect off-ro­ad ob­sta­cles. The new bash pla­te is ma­de from 2,3mm thick high-strength steel. The sil­ver fi­nis­hed guard al­lows access to the du­al front re­co­ve­ry hooks. Wor­king with the ex­is­ting en­gi­ne and trans­fer ca­se un­der shields, the three e­le­ments pro­vi­de pro­tecti­on to com­po­nents such as the ra­di­a­tor, e­lec­tric po­wer as­sis­ted s­teer­ing (EPAS), front end acces­so­ry dri­ve (FEAD), front cross-mem­ber, en­gi­ne sump and front dif­fe­ren­ti­al.

ALL TERRAIN

Ran­ger Rap­tor co­mes with a terrain ma­na­ge­ment sy­stem (TMS) of­fe­ring six mo­des for va­ri­ous dri­ving ex­pe­rien­ces, which can be se­lected via a switch on the s­teer­ing w­heel. Each mo­de has been ca­li­bra­ted to of­fer the be­st com­bi­na­ti­on of techno­lo­gy to tackle the cho­sen terrain or dri­ving sty­le with ap­lomb. T­he­se in­clu­de on-ro­ad mo­des to choo­se be­t­ween nor­mal and s­port dri­ving and off-ro­ad mo­des with four dif­fe­rent ap­pli­ca­ti­ons, de­pen­ding on the sur­fa­ce en­coun­te­red.

The po­wer­train fe­a­tu­res of­fer mo­re po­wer and tor­que, bet­ter fu­el e­co­nomy, less weig­ht and off-ro­ad spe­ci­fic ca­li­bra­ti­ons for en­gi­ne, trans­mis­si­on, dri­ve­li­ne, s­teer­ing, bra­kes and e­lec­tro­nic sta­bi­li­ty con­t­rol (ESC) sy­stem.

A 10-speed trans­mis­si­on is com­bi­ned with a new 2,0-lit­re, bi-tur­bo die­sel en­gi­ne to de­li­ver a max­i­mum of 157kW of po­wer and 500Nm of tor­que.

Wor­king as a te­am, the smal­ler, high-pres­su­re (HP) tur­bo is con­nected in a se­quen­ce to the lar­ger, LP tur­bo and is con­trol­led with by-pass val­ves that de­ter­mi­ne the o­pe­ra­ting mo­de de­pen­ding on en­gi­ne speed. At lo­wer en­gi­ne speeds, the two tur­bos work in se­ries, en­han­cing tor­que and re­spon­si­ve­ness, whi­le at hig­her en­gi­ne speeds, the small HP tur­bo is by­pas­sed and the hig­her LP tur­bo pro­vi­des boost to de­li­ver mo­re po­wer.

Ran­ger Rap­tor of­fers a host of ad­van­ced dri­ver as­sist techno­lo­gy (DAT) that are cut­ting ed­ge and practi­cal for e­ver­y­day use, a­vai­la­ble at the push of a but­ton.

Le­a­ding the way in con­necti­vi­ty, SYNCÒ 3 is a ful­ly in­te­gra­ted voi­ce acti­va­ti­on sy­stem that lets dri­vers use their fa­vou­ri­te de­vi­ces whi­le hands stay on the w­heel and ey­es on the ro­ad. The sa­tel­li­te na­vi­ga­ti­on sy­stem co­mes in­to its own w­hen off-ro­a­ding in re­mo­te a­re­as, e­ven of­fe­ring a “bre­ad­crumb” fe­a­tu­re to le­a­ve a trail w­hen en­te­ring un­char­ted a­re­as, which is per­fect for the se­ri­ous off-ro­a­der.

SAFETY

High le­vels of acti­ve and pas­si­ve safety ha­ve been in­clu­ded, such as the im­pro­ved Ford Sta­bi­li­ty Con­t­rol in­cor­po­ra­ting roll mi­ti­ga­ti­on functi­on.

Ford’s com­pre­hen­si­ve e­lec­tro­nic sta­bi­li­ty con­t­rol (ESC) sy­stem will help in dif­fi­cult cor­ne­ring and bra­king si­tu­a­ti­ons. Ot­her fe­a­tu­res in­clu­de trai­ler sway con­t­rol (TSC), hill start as­sist (HSA), hill des­cent con­t­rol (HDC) and lo­ad a­dap­ti­ve con­t­rol (LAC).

The re­ar view ca­me­ra dis­play­ed on the 8” co­lour LCD screen is ma­t­ched with the re­ar par­king sen­sors to gi­ve dri­vers the ut­most par­king con­fi­den­ce.

In­tel­li­gent access (pas­si­ve en­try) al­lows the o­w­ner to un­lock, lock and start the vehi­cle wit­hout re­a­ching for the keys. U­sing a ra­dio fre­quen­cy sig­nal, the key fob al­lows the o­w­ner to start the vehi­cle with the p­ress of a but­ton and is a­ble to acti­va­te cen­tral locking for the doors and the tail­ga­te. A me­cha­ni­cal key bla­de is in­cor­po­ra­ted in­to the fob de­sign to use in the e­vent of a de­ple­ted bat­te­ry.

Mo­re de­tails on p­ri­ce, spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons and war­ran­ty will be ma­de a­vai­la­ble clo­ser to the South A­fri­can launch.

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